Christopher Wolf on hate speech on the Internet

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Christopher Wolf, director of the law firm Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Information Management group, addresses his new book with co-author Abraham Foxman, Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet. To what extent do hateful or mean-spirited Internet users hide behind anonymity? How do we balance the protection of the First Amendment online while addressing the spread of hate speech? Wolf discusses how to define hate speech on the Internet; whether online hate speech leads to real-world violence; how news sites like the Huffington Post and New York Times have dealt with anonymity; lessons we should impart on the next generation of Internet users to discourage hate speech; and cases where anonymity has proved particularly beneficial or valuable.

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Thumbnail image for Cole Stryker on anonymity on the web

Cole Stryker on anonymity on the web

Cole Stryker, author and media consultant, discusses his book Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web. Stryker discusses
privacy and anonymity in context of news surrounding the hacker group, Anonymous; the recent shutdown of the black market website, Silk Road; the fight for Internet freedom; the history of cypherpunks; and Bitcoin.

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Randall Stross on Y Combinator

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Randall Stross discusses his recent book: The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Most Exclusive School for Startups. Stross’s behind-the-scenes look at Y Combinator details how the seed fund has been able to produce young entrepreneurs and successful startups such as Dropbox and Airbnb. Stross also discusses Y Combinator’s early history, the typical Y Combinator participant, the fund’s rate of return, the gender gap in the program, and the reason Silicon Valley has become the epicenter for startups.

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Thomas Rid on cyber war

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Thomas Rid, author of the new book “Cyber War Will Not Take Place” discusses whether so-called “cyber war” is a legitimate threat or not. Since the early 1990s, talk of cyber war has caused undue panic and worry and, despite major differences, the military treats the protection of cyberspace much in the same way as protection of land or sea. Rid also covers whether a cyber attack should be considered an act of war; whether it’s correct to classify a cyber attack as “war” considering no violence takes place; how sabotage, espionage and subversion come into play; and offers a positive way to view cyber attacks — have such attacks actually saved millions of lives?

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Timothy B. Lee on the future of tech journalism

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Timothy B. Lee, founder of The Washington Post’s blog The Switch discusses his approach to reporting at the intersection of technology and policy. He covers how to make tech concepts more accessible; the difference between blogs and the news; the importance of investigative journalism in the tech space; whether paywalls are here to stay; Jeff Bezos’ recent purchase of The Washington Post; and the future of print news.

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Sherwin Siy on digital copyright

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Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge, discusses emerging issues in digital copyright policy. He addresses the Department of Commerce’s recent green paper on digital copyright, including the need to reform copyright laws in light of new technologies. This podcast also covers the DMCA, online streaming, piracy, cell phone unlocking, fair use recognition, digital ownership, and what we’ve learned about copyright policy from the SOPA debate.

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Jerry Ellig on the Universal Service Fund

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Jerry Ellig, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discusses the the FCC’s lifeline assistance benefit funded through the Universal Service Fund (USF). The program, created in 1997, subsidizes phone services for low-income households. The USF is not funded through the federal budget, rather via a fee from monthly phone bills — reaching an all-time high of 17% of telecomm companies’ revenues last year. Ellig discusses the similarities between the USF fee and a tax, how the fee fluctuates, how subsidies to the telecomm industry have boomed in recent years, and how to curb the waste, fraud and abuse that comes as a result of the lifeline assistance benefit.

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Jane Bambauer on whether data is speech

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Jane Yakowitz Bambauer, associate professor of law at the University of Arizona, discusses her forthcoming paper in the Stanford Law Review titled “Is Data Speech?” How do we define “data” and can it be protected in the same way as free speech? She examines current privacy laws and regulations as they pertain to data creation and collection, including whether collecting data should be protected under the First Amendment.

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K. Eric Drexler on the future of nanotechnology

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K. Eric Drexler of Oxford University discusses his latest book Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization. Drexler, who has ,been referred to as “the founding father of nanotechnology” covers how society can conserve resources and make more efficient products through nanotechnology; how nanotechnology can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems; how this varies from what you’ve seen in science fiction; and, how we can improve manufacturing at the molecular level.

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Adam Thierer on cronyism

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Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center discusses his recent working paper with coauthor Brent Skorup, “A History of Cronyism and Capture in the Information Technology Sector.” Thierer takes a look at how cronyism has manifested itself in technology and media markets — whether it be in the form of regulatory favoritism or tax privileges. Which tech companies are the worst offenders? What are the consequences for consumers? And, how does cronyism affect entrepreneurship over the long term?

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